The Journey Toward Student Voice and Choice


Today’s Contributor: Katie Moccia

Katie is a science teacher and CIC at Bailey Middle School. She is also a BLEND Ambassador. 


As a teacher, buzz words are constantly thrown around us. Words like data, stimulating, engagement, leadership, voice and choice, etc. Any time you throw these around in conversations with colleagues or administrator you get some brownie points. Now, I know what these words actually mean to me and also what “they” want these words to mean. This past year marked a milestone in my teaching career, five years. Five long, intense, rough and also fulfilling years that I have been an educator. This past year was different from any other when the buzzword of “technology” was thrown in my classroom. Sure, my students used computers in the past; they have done projects, researched, emailed me docs and even emailed demands of grade changes. This milestone year, however, I leaped into the fire that is technology and student voice and choice in their own learning. For this blog, I want to let them tell you what they thought about student voice and choice after my first year….

I asked them three questions about their 7th grade year in Mrs. Moccia’s BLENDed classroom.

  1. What is student voice and choice?
  2. What did you think about student voice and choice (when it comes to technology, classroom environment, assignments and homework) by the end of the year.
  3. How do you feel about a BLENDed learning lifestyle?

 

Sarah M.

  1. It’s where all the students have a choice and a say of what we’re doing, it also helps the teacher understand what is going on in the students’ minds.
  2. Amazing, we all, students, had a choice in everything. It made the learning environment more… exciting?  
  3. How do you feel about a BLENDed learning lifestyle? – It was a fun way to learn and take tests then the normal boring way. It also saves a lot more trees!

Aiden O

  1. Student voice and choice is where students have a say-so in the classroom and get to help make the rules and make their own decisions on how they learn.  
  2. The environment of the classroom is different in a voice and choice environment. Sometimes students may feel like they have too much power and forget that there is a teacher in the room.  Although this may sometimes be true, it is good to have a voice and choice option as a pose to a set of rules that have to be followed. The voice and choice allows students to work together to make their own rules.
  3. Blend is a great learning style because it is easy to use and it will help kids out so much later in life.  It is super easy to lose track of homework when it is on paper; but with blend you can access it all with a quick login.  Blend is super easy to use and I really like it.

I hope to follow up on this blog with this year’s student excitement, challenges and “ah-ha” moments.

4 Comments

  1. Love the different perspectives you gave! It’s so true– all of these terms can have hugely different meanings from class to class. Refreshing to hear/read there’s no right/wrong way to apply them!

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